invasion of privacy

Primary tabs

Invasion of privacy involves the infringement upon an individual's protected right to privacy through a variety of intrusive or unwanted actions. Such invasions of privacy can range from physical encroachments onto private property to the wrongful disclosure of confidential information or images.

Under the umbrella of invasion of privacy, there exist several legal claims that can be brought by the aggrieved party, such as intrusion on seclusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light, and appropriation. While each of these claims concerns a different form of invasion of privacy, they all hinge on the common thread of an unwelcome or unauthorized intrusion upon a person's private life.

Katz v. United States is often cited in the context of defining the parameters of invasion of privacy. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures extended to protecting someone's reasonable expectation of privacy. This ruling helped to establish the notion that privacy is a fundamental right that the legal system is designed to safeguard.

[Last updated in February of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]